Photo by Asia Morris.
The public is invited to watch the nail-biting spectacle that will be the 52nd Annual Congressional Cup, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club to take place April 5 through 10, where the world’s top-ranked skippers will convene off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier to compete in match races for the distinguished title, according to a release issued this week.
Last year, now two-time defending Congressional Cup champion Taylor Canfield edged out New Zealand’s Phil Robertson by mere meters to take the coveted Crimson Blazer, $75,000 in winnings, as well as points to place him and his team ahead of the competition in the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). The 51st Annual Congressional Cup served as the season opener for the WMRT, while this year’s event will serve as the second event in the 2016 five-stop series.
Reigning WMRT Champion Ian Williams will also return to compete, straight from a win at the WMRT 2016 season opener in Fremantle, Australia, where Canfield fell to seventh in the overall results. Williams won the cup in 2011 and 2012 and is gunning to topple Canfield to reclaim the title. As the only keelboat event of the WMRT, the 52nd Annual Congressional Cup is set to be a heated row of head-to-head matches.
Seven of the world’s top ten-ranked skippers are slated to compete, alongside five more opponents, including two skippers who will earn their spot in the April 1 to 3 Ficker Cup presented by Porsche. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s Chris Steele won the Ficker Cup last year, earning the team a spot in the 51st Annual Congressional Cup regatta.
Alongside Williams and Canfield, Bjorn Hansen of Sweden, Eric Monnin of Switzerland, Sam Gilmour of Australia, Steele of New Zealand, Keith Swinton of Australia, Phil Robertson of New Zealand, Nicolai Sehested of Denmark and Sally Barkow competing for the US will certainly give each other a run for their money.
The Congressional Cup features five days of yacht racing, where the world’s top skippers come to Long Beach waters to vie for the coveted title. Founded in 1965, the competition is considered “the granddaddy of match racing,” according to the release.
Racing will take place April 6 to 10 off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, starting at roughly 11:30AM daily. For more information about the 52nd Annual Congressional Cup, visit the website here. Follow the #concup on Facebook here and Twitter @LBYCConCup.
The Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier is located at 15 39th Place.